Pilgrimage to Beethoven and Other Essays / Edition 1

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"Saint Beethoven!. . . . He was clad in somewhat untidy houseclothes, with a red woolen scarf wrapped round his waist; long, bushy grey hair hung in disorder from his head, and his gloomy, forbidding expression by no means tended to reassure. . . ."

When Wagner published the first collection of his writings he was pleased to admit how well he wrote, even when young. Historians and musicians ever since have agreed that some of his most important and revelatory works were written when he was first establishing his reputation in Paris and Dresden. Pilgrimage to Beethoven and Other Essays provides translations of the first two volumes of his Gesammelte Schriften (1871-1873). These works reveal how committed he was to emphasizing Germanic qualities in his music and define his opposition to the music of France and Italy.

In addition to his influential essay on Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, this volume includes two early essays on Germanic myth—"The Wibelungen" and "The Nibelungen-Myth"—his homages to Carl Maria von Weber, and the complete text of his autobiographical A German Musician in Paris, with its famous "Pilgrimage to Beethoven."

The volume concludes with his "Plan of Organisation of a German National Theatre" (1849), founded upon Beethoven's moral music. Listeners "inspired by Beethoven's music have been more active and energetic citizens-of-State than those bewitched by Rossini, Bellini, and Donizetti." Throughout these essays, as throughout his life, Wagner knew how to provoke.

This edition includes the complete volume 7 of the 1898 translation commissioned by the London Wagner Society.

Originally published: Richard Wagner's Prose Works, Vol. 7 In Paris and Dresden. London : Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner, 1898.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803297630
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/1994
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 396
  • Product dimensions: 5.34 (w) x 8.12 (h) x 0.93 (d)

Meet the Author

William Ashton Ellis is one of the most important translators of nineteenth-century musicology. In addition to his monumental translation of Wagner's prose works, he translated Wagner's correspondence with Franz Lizst, Mathilde Wesendonck, and Wagner's own family. Ellis died in 1919.
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Table of Contents

Translator's Preface
Author's Introduction 1
"Das Liebesverbot" 5
A German Musician in Paris 19
1 A Pilgrimage to Beethoven 21
2 An End in Paris 46
3 A Happy Evening 69
4 On German Music 83
4A Pergolesi's "Stabat Mater" 102
5 The Virtuoso and the Artist 108
5A Du Metier De Virtuose 123
6 The Artist and Publicity 134
7 Rossini's "Stabat Mater" 142
On the Overture 151
Der Freischutz in Paris 167
1 To the Paris Public 169
2 Report to Germany 183
Halevy's "Reine De Chypre" 205
Author's Introduction to Vol. II. of the Ges. Schr 223
Weber's Re-Interment 227
Report 229
Speech 235
Beethoven's Choral Symphony at Dresden 239
Report 247
Programme 248
The Wibelungen 257
The Nibelungen-Myth 299
Tercentenary Toast 313
A German National Theatre 319
Summary 361
Index 371
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